Sellafield EPS3 Voice Alarm System

Over the past two years we have been working closely with Stanley Security Solutions Ltd, Lab Impex Systems and Application Solutions to delivery an Emergency Voice Evacuation system or Voice Alarm system for a new storage facility at Sellafield.

The Encapsulated Product Store 3 (EPS3) is a new intermediate level waste (ILW) store, providing additional capacity to support the two existing stores, EPS1 and EPS2. The store is designed to safely house ILW generated from nuclear reprocessing operations and clean-up work on site until safe disposal is possible.

As a key safety system at this nuclear-licensed site, the equipment is required to be entirely dual redundant, with emphasis placed on a design that meets key objectives for a robust architecture, unaffected by environmental and electromagnetic factors as defined in BS EN 61000-6-4 and BS EN 61000-6-2. Failure of any of the components will not affect the operation of the system as a whole.

The system meets the stringent BS5839:8 standard for voice alarm systems.

Nuclear facilities have unusual requirements and safety is so critical at this location that a ‘confidence tone’ is broadcast at 15-second intervals around the clock. The presence of these regular pips reassures personnel that the evacuation system is functioning correctly.

If an event is activated manually or by activity-in-air monitors specific to a building, a distinct warning tone is broadcast within 300 milliseconds and the location in question is evacuated.

At the same time, “Keep Out!” warning beacons are triggered throughout the evacuation zone.

The amplifiers employed are ASL’s M400 rack-mounted main frame units which use the company’s class-D adaptive technology to minimise power consumption, meaning a reduced sizing requirement for battery back-up. The system features dual power supplies, routers and standby amplifiers modules with speaker line monitoring and automatic switching carried out via DC surveillance.


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